3/14/2017: Mental Health Funding; First Coast Connect Book Club; 89.9 FM T-Shirt Contest

Mar 14, 2017

Tuesday on “First Coast Connect” we looked at the mental health crisis facing Florida with Mental Health America of Northeast Florida CEO Denise Marzullo; activist Jonathan Harriford, whose brother is in a state hospital after years of struggling with mental illness; and George Mallinckrodt, author of the book “Getting Away with Murder” about problems in Florida’s state prison psych wards, joined us by phone. We also were joined by First Coast Connect Book Club blogger Stacey Goldring, who talked about Ian McEwan’s book “Nutshell” and with Rebecca Jefferson, head of the Department of Special and Area Collections and the University of Florida library. News director Jessica Palombo then talked about how listeners can participate in 89.9 FM’s 45th anniversary celebration.     

Mental Health Funding

Mental health advocates warn potential funding cuts proposed in Tallahassee will be devastating to the mental health care industry in Florida. Recent reports are showing a potential cut of $50 million. Florida already ranks last in per capita mental health funding in the nation by a wide margin. Harriford’s brother killed his mother while trying to deal with his mental illness. Mallinckrodt worked at a psychotherapist in the Florida prison system and he said patients were often tormented, starved and beaten by corrections officers.     

Book Club

This month’s book suggestion by Goldring is the novella, “Nutshell.” It’s a story that includes characters very similar to “Hamlet,” telling the story with a fetus at the narrator. Jefferson brought some historical books, documents and photos from the collection. Goldring will hold an event similar to “Antiques Roadshow” this fall at the San Marco Book Store where locals can get their books, photos and documents evaluated for their rarity and worth.     

89.9 45th anniversary T-shirt contest

To commemorate WJCT 89.9 FM’s 45th anniversary, we are holding a T-shirt design contest. The design must be exclusive to WJCT and demonstrate a listener’s support for our programming. The designs must be  turned in to the WJCT studios by Friday. It’s open to residents of our listening area and all submissions must include “WJCT” and may include “89.9 WJCT-FM and/or “Your Community Your World.” The T-shirt will be available during our spring fund drive.

Producer Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at kmeerschaert@wjct.org, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.